of political management tied to a project of cultural and nationalrnregeneration, fascism has evolved into a codeword forrngenocide associated with insensitive attitudes. The semanticrndenaturing of the terms in question was already under way byrn1950, when volumes oiThe Authoritarian PersonaUty, a study ofrnfascist attitudes and their relation to anti-Semitism, began to appearrnunder the aegis of the American Jewish Committee. Allrnthe contributors —among them S.M. Lipset, Max Horkheimer,rnUse Frenkel, Theodor Adorno, and Paul Lazarfeld—believedrnthat any departure from their socialist, secularist, and genderegalitarianrnoutlook betrayed fascist and possibly Nazi sentiments.rnThe “pseudo-democratic” populist danger evoked inrnthis work has now been updated to include such telltale fascistrnsigns as favoring restrictions on immigration and being uncomfortablernat the sight of gays fondling each other in public.rn”Fascist” is also now exempt from the Aristotelian principlernof non-contradiction. As seen in Le Monde’s attacks on the NationalrnFront, fascism, like liberalism, can be used in ways thatrncontradict a once settled meaning. While granting the prevalencernof Thomas Fleming’s mock equation—that Europeanrnpopulism equals fascism which equals Hitler which equalsrnAuschwitz—one might still expect some to remember that thernNazis were engaged in far-reaching territorial conquests, not inrnrestricting immigration or in fighting for local democratic autonomy.rnAre we supposed to believe that leghisti or kpenistesrnare incipient Nazis because they complain about the growth ofrnthe welfare state or are unwilling to expand their societies to includernculturally alien immigrants?rnAlthough these populists may be provincial or insufficientlyrncosmopolitan, theirs is not the evil that produced a murderousrnNazi empire embracing the European continent. Such decontextualization,rnencountered daily in journalistic descriptionsrnof “the new fascist threat,” makes one wonder whether thernslanderers have any idea of the expansionist dynamic embodiedrnby the Third Reich or of the fascist corporatist welfare state vision.rnRemember the illiterate insolence of Charles Krauthammer,rnwho in March 1992 decried Patrick Buchanan as a Hitlerite?rnKrauthammer pronounced the “N” word after learningrnthat Buchanan opposed free trade and had a father who admiredrnFrancisco Franco. Such malicious pseudo-reasoningrnabounds in the verbal industries, which makes it unlikely thatrnlying about fascism will soon end. crnNight Piecernby Robert BeumrnMy two shelties lie at the door, asleep;rnthe half moon and the stubble sleep their wayrnto the equinox. Wakefulness is mine,rnviolence to the night, nerves and fatigue,rnsorting the words for something that could live;rnand if I find it? it was all for them,rnthose who said. Write, and gave their blessing,rnthose the most foolish child knew as eternalrnas the acreage and its moon: grandmother, father,rnteacher, far from this night as fictions.rnWe begin persuaded by love to try,rnwe gather strength, persist, sometimes break through,rnbut all was meant to be a love’s return,rna gift, a bond—who could have thought of deathrnback then, when poetry was its own knighthood?rnEva, Robert, and Francis, not in this night,rnyou brought the last of something nameless;rnwords born of that lived quiet when the landrnlived in the cities: the clear summer nightrnwhispered, and what was there to do but listen?rnAll that has run out, memory of itrnis part absurdity, and sleep should growunderrna half moon making clean, cold straw;rnbut the words are mostiy theirs who might have read:rnthev mean. Work on, if onlv for the dead.rnMARCH 1998/15rnrnrn